Padraig Harrington and Team Europe Majorly Suffered During Ryder Cup Due to ‘Ball Issues’

Published 10/05/2021, 7:56 AM EDT
Golf – The 2020 Ryder Cup – Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. – September 23, 2021 Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington stands on the 5th green during a practice round REUTERS/Mike Segar


Padraig Harrington, the team Europe skipper, had to revamp his pairings on the eve of the Friday morning foursomes. Many reports suggest he was forced to change the pairings because of ball issues with some players.

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And as everyone knows how important it is for the visiting team to get off to a fast start, he was forced to make the changes. But sadly, due to these untimely changes, Europe had a dreadful start to the 2020 Ryder Cup. 

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Meanwhile, the home team made sure that they were in a commanding position throughout the event. And the Americans not once allowed the Europeans to make a comeback. Team USA eventually managed to win the prestigious cup with a record 19-9 victory.

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After facing an embarrassing defeat, Harrington had said that he was comfortable with all the decisions he had made during the tournament. Moreover, Padraig started his preparation for Ryder Cup with his stat team. He even said that they predominantly set the pairings before arriving in Wisconsin for the Ryder Cup. 

Padraig Harrington changed the pairings on the eve of the Ryder Cup

However, according to the Telegraph, Harrington had changed his pairings on the eve of the game due to ball issues. On the final practice day, he learned that Lee Westwood and Paul Casey use different balls, and so did Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland.  

Golf – The 2020 Ryder Cup – Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. – September 21, 2021 Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington speaks with Team Europe’s Lee Westwood on the 10th tee during a practice round REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Hence, he switched the quartet of duos with Westwood partnering with Fitzpatrick and Casey with Hovland. However, both these pairs had a terrible time out there as they lost both games.

Moreover, after day one, Hovland and Casey weren’t paired together. While Westwood and Fitzpatrick went out in the Saturday foursomes, where they lost again. 

A source told Telegraph, “Maybe they should have thought about the ball issue earlier, as it is always part of the equation of putting two players together in a foursome,” an insider told Telegraph.

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“But all four play Titleist, and you might have thought it would be fine. Yet there are different sorts of Titleist balls.”

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Matt Fitzpatrick plays with a Titleist Pro V1x, while Viktor Hovland uses Titleist Pro V1 released earlier this year. Meanwhile, even Westwood and Casey use the different types of Titleist ball, which is the most popular brand on the professional level.

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Hence Padraig Harrington switched these pairings and made a mess of their chances of winning the Ryder Cup.

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Amey Kulkarni

379 articles

Amey Kulkarni is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in mass media. Before joining EssentiallySports he used to write articles on Golf and Cricket on his personal blog cricgolf.

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